The Medium is the Message as VoxOx Unifies, Updates Communications Services
San Diego’s TelCentris is announcing an upgrade to its VoxOx universal communicator service that includes a personal assistant feature, a virtual service that can answer your phone calls and route them according to your personal preferences. With the technology, you can direct phone calls from a family phone to reach you on your cell phone, office phone, or home phone—and you can send phone calls from that pesky sales rep to your voicemail.
The company says VoxOx is meant to solve your personal communications overload by unifying all the different methods that you use to communicate into a single user interface. While the startup faces a number of larger rivals—such as Google Voice—that offer unified communications service, TelCentris executives maintains that its service represents a different proposition than Google Voice or Skype. “There’s really no other product like it that’s out there,” says TelCentris CEO Bryan Hertz.
Before today’s announcement, Hertz told me that while some rivals have combined communication services, most “unified communications” are usually done within the limits of an enterprise software application. Microsoft Exchange Server, for example, enables users to get audio voicemail messages, faxes, and e-mail delivered in their mailboxes, and lets them access their mailboxes from their cell phones or wireless devices.
In contrast, Hertz says VoxOx is “technology agnostic.” Unlike Google Voice, Hertz says VoxOx can be used to integrate a variety of communications services from a variety of third-party providers. So a VoxOx user can combine his or her existing phone number with their Gmail or Microsoft e-mail service and an outside instant messaging provider such as Yahoo, AIM, MSN, as well as social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. “We’re not necessarily here to replace them, but we are here to organize them,” Hertz says.
The new VoxOx service—which is free—also aggregates the user’s list of contacts from different sources into a universal address book that is part of an iPhone-like graphical user interface. “We go much deeper than any of these other tools do individually,” says Hertz.
For example, if you use the VoxOx desktop display to update … Next Page »